One thing about blogging–and particularly blogging about something as personal and unpredictable as parenting–is that you do feel affinities for wide circles of people you’ve never met. One such person is John Cave Osborne, who blogs about his triplets and more out of Tennessee. Through him comes word of the death of the son of a friend of his, the momblogger MamaPundit. Her 18-year-old passed away over the weekend, more than a month after overdosing on inhaled heroin.
There’s a lot to think about there, including the line that all bloggers must draw when it comes to the personal lives of their older kids–by her own admission, MamaPundit had kept her son’s addiction a secret for two years or so while openly blogging, as many of us do, about her own life and those of her other three children.
But we’ll leave the thinking for another time. For now, it’s just very sad, and a reminder that we just can’t control much in the end. This is the thing that always struck my wife when she was working some forlorn shift at the ER and saw that homeless alcoholic with a gangrenous leg that needed amputating, or treated that inmate who had castrated himself in his cell, or the morbidly obese patient with just half a lung left who wouldn’t stop smoking. All these people were dying, essentially killing themselves, and each time she had a moment to reflect, she would just be caught up in the awful wonder of it all: This was somebody’s baby at some point. They started off on this earth fresh and cute and deserving of no less than anyone else. And look what happened to their lives, the only one each is ever gonna get.
I know it shouldn’t be sadder or hit closer to home because it happens to the child of another blogger, but it does feel that way.